Articles by Mike Gottlieb

A listing of all the articles written by Mike Gottlieb for the RotoWire Blog.

Mock Draft Army #2 Team

Not even June 1st and I’m already moving into Fantasy Football season.  It’s never too early to get a leg up on your opponents in what is the best fantasy sport around.  Sure, there’s baseball, but that’s for marathon runners.  I’m more of a sprinter.  I’ll take football and its 16 weeks of agonizing ecstasy.  It also helps that the games themselves are actually watchable, unlike in baseball.  
Thursday night I participated in Rotowire’s #MockDraftArmy draft hosted by Mock Draft Central.  It was a 10-team, 2-QB draft that had some interesting results.  Here is my team.  How did I do?

15 Reasons Why You Never Draft Pitching Early

Revisionist history is fun, right? Hind sight is always 20-20. But this theory is neither revisionist nor hind sight. Not drafting pitchers early in fantasy baseball drafts is not new. The following is a fifteen-pitcher starting pitching staff (fourteen of them not named Matt Harvey) with an ADP of 200 or higher and their stats this year, so far (as of 5/11/13). It will make you feel kind of silly for drafting David Price, Cole Hamels, Gio Gonzalez, or others of their ilk.

HOWEVER, if you happen to have any number of these 15 pitchers, sell high while you still can. Try to get one of the struggling aces. Get your profit from your home run of a draft pick. If you check out the RotoWire YouTube page, @Chris|UNDER|Liss and @Jeff|UNDER|Erickson discuss whether they’d trade Matt Harvey for David Price or Cole Hamels straight up. The answer is not so straight forward. Another reason why you trade for the top pitchers instead of drafting them. Too much uncertainty in pitching. Just imagine if you drafted one-third of these guys and combine them with some of the lower-ranked closers or highest-ranked set up men who have become closers off the waiver wire. Unless you had the worst strategy picking hitters at the top of the draft, you’d be profitting from fantasy baseball this year.

Without further adieu, the list (in order of ADP):

SP 1) Anibal Sanchez (ADP 204.50): 45.2 IP, 3-3, 1.97 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 58 K

SP 2) Lance Lynn (ADP 220.75): 43.0 IP, 5-1, 2.72 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 47 K

SP 3) Kyle Lohse (ADP 222.50): 43.1 IP, 1-4, 3.53 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 30 K

SP 4) Trevor Cahill (ADP 224.00): 45.0 IP, 2-3, 2.80, 1.16 WHIP, 34 K

SP 5) Matt Harvey (ADP 228.00): 49.1 IP, 4-0, 1.28 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 58 K

SP 6) Ryan Dempster (ADP 228.50): 43.0 IP, 2-3, 2.93 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 55 K

SP 7) Hisashi Iwakuma (ADP 229.75): 51.2 IP, 4-1, 1.74 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 51 K

SP 8) Wade Miley (ADP 233.00): 43.0 IP, 2.93 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 34 K

SP 9) Derek Holland (ADP 241.75): 49.2 IP, 3-2, 2.54 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 43 K

SP 10) Wandy Rodriguez (ADP 241.96): 37.1 IP, 3-2, 3.63 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 27 K

SP 11) Ervin Santana (ADP 246.25): 42.0 IP, 3-1, 2.36 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 35 K

SP 12) Hyun-Jin Ryu (ADP 256.25): 43.2 IP, 3-2, 3.71 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 48 K

SP 13) Alex Cobb (ADP 258.75): 46.2 IP, 4-2, 3.09 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 46 K

SP 14) Clay Bucholz (ADP 282.28): 50.2 IP, 6-0, 1.60 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 56 K

SP 15) Tommy Milone (ADP 285.38): 46.0 IP, 3-4, 3.13 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 41 K

Draft Day Mock Draft: The Craziest Mock You’ll See

Today is like Christmas for NFL teams.  Some teams will have their stockings stuffed with gifts, and some with coal.  Until today, I have undertook the impossible practice of predicting the picks without trades.  Today, I make an even more ridiculous prediction by trying to predict the trades that will happen in tonight’s first round of the NFL Draft.  Enjoy the craziness that follows.  It’ll make tonight seem rather tame.  The Green means a team traded up to that spot, the pale red means the team traded down.  All in all there were five trades predicted.

2013 NFL Mock Draft: Two Weeks to Go!

Only Two weeks until the real NFL Draft takes place, and I look like an absolute fool for even trying to predict what actually happens.  I am operating under the assumption that there will not be any trades.  With that being said, I fully expect there to be a significant amount of movement, starting with the Cleveland Browns at pick #6.  This draft isn’t loaded with elite talent, but it is a very deep draft and there is a ton of quality that can be found in later rounds.  This is another draft where a QB did not make it into the first round because I am basing a lot of this off of team need/talent available.  I’m sure that there will be QBs taken in the first round in the real draft, but I think it will be at the end of the first round with teams that have an early second round pick trading back into the first round to ensure they get their guy.  With all that being said, here’s my latest mock draft.  Enjoy!

NFL Over|FRONTS|Unders

Just in case you have not heard, the NFL begins tomorrow night with the Dallas Cowboys facing off against the World Champion New York Giants. This means that fantasy football is set to begin and, just as important, betting season is set to begin. To get the latter started off, I have compiled my NFL team prop bets and confidence behind each pick, based on the website formerly known as BoDog’s lines. Enjoy!

Team (Total wins – 2012) Over/Under: reason: Confidence (out of 5)

Arizona Cardinals (7) Under: The Cardinals are really regretting the Kevin Kolb trade/contract. Because of a lack of quality/stability at the QB position and a schedule that features (outside of division) the NFC North and South and the AFC East, I predict that the Cardinals will go, at best, 5-11. Confidence: 4

Atlanta Falcons (9) Over: This pick all hinges on whether the Falcons can improve their record on the road (4-4 last year). Particularly, the week 16 showdown at the Detroit Lions will determine whether this pick will hit. Overall, 9-7 is the most probable outcome for the Falcons, but if Matt Ryan can take full advantage of one of the best one-two combos at wide receiver (Julio Jones and Roddy White), then they could push their record to 10-6 or 11-5. Confidence: 3

Baltimore Ravens (10) Over: The Ravens don’t have the easiest schedule in the world having to face the NFC East, but the AFC West balances that out nicely. Like the Falcons, the Ravens desperately need their QB to mature. Joe Flacco has arguably the most talented all-around running back in Ray Rice and has an emerging receiving talent in Torrey Smith. If he puts it all together, the Ravens should shatter the over/under of 10, but my lack of confidence in Flacco leads me to believe that the best record they Ravens could have is 11-5. Confidence: 3

Buffalo Bills (8) Over: I have been a long-time critic of the Bills and have ragged on Bills fans repeatedly, but this should be the year that the Bills return to the above .500 mark. The Jets are going to take a significant step back, and Miami is not close to challenging anyone. Plus, they get the benefit of playing against the NFC West and AFC South, which only have one good team each. Do not be surprised if Buffalo goes 10-6 with an improved defense and a solid one-two punch in the backfield (Fred Jackson-C.J. Spiller). Confidence: 4

Carolina Panthers (7.5) Under: I was dead wrong about Cam Newton last year. However, Lets not go crazy and think that the Panthers did enough to win eight games this season. Playing the Falcons and Saints four times should result in three losses (at least) and throw in four games against the NFC East (another three losses). Top all of that off with an away game at Chicago and that’s already seven losses. That would mean that they would have to sweep through the AFC West, which I would not bet on happening. Confidence: 4

Chicago Bears (9.5) Over: The NFC North should get three teams in the playoffs, and the Bears are that third team. Brandon Marshall makes that team infinitely better.

Cincinnati Bengals (8) Under: In any other division, this would be a slam dunk ‘over’ pick, but it’s not another division. Playing four games against Pittsburgh and Baltimore should result in three losses and throw in the NFC East and this season could easily get away from the temperamental Bengals. Andy Dalton in year two could easily fall into a sophomore slump despite having one of the best young receivers in AJ Green and a solid defense. Confidence: 2

Cleveland Browns (5) Under: Is there anything more insulting to Browns fans than being owned by a Steelers fan? This joke of a franchise keeps us laughing this year with Brandon Weeden being named the starter with NO ONE to throw to. Trent Richardson’s knees have already had two operations, so I’ll go with 2-14 for the Browns. Confidence: 5

Dallas Cowboys (8.5) Under: The Cowboys look like they are going to be the most disappointing team in the NFL this year. A weak pass defense coupled with an inconsistent offense will not be enough when facing off against the AFC North, NFC South and six brutal division games. This all spells a 6-10 season. You read that correctly. Six…and….ten. Confidence: 4

Denver Broncos (9) Under: The Broncos, talent-wise, are easily the best team in the AFC West, but they’re cursed by the schedule. Here are their first eight games (keep in mind these are the games where Peyton Manning has to gel with his new players): vs. Pittsburgh, @ Atlanta, vs. Houston, vs. Oakland, @ New England, @ San Diego, bye, @ New Orleans, @ Cincinnati. #RecipeForDisaster. Confidence: 3

Detroit Lions (9) Over: A lot of people expect the Lions to take a step back this year. This will all depend on the health of quarterback Matthew Stafford. If he can stay healthy again for all 16 games this season, he should easily throw for close to 5,000 yards again and lead his team to at least 10 victories. Confidence: 3

Green Bay Packers (12) Under: The ‘over’ bet is +145 (begging to be taken), but I’m not biting. It’s not that the Packers aren’t good. They are. But anticipating any team going 13-3 is flat out unreasonable. Plus, four games against the Bears and Lions should account for at least 1 and probably 2 losses. Confidence: 4

Houston Texans (10) Over: This mark is pretty on the money, but I’m going to give Houston’s defense the benefit of the doubt carrying this AFC South juggernaut to an 11-5 season. Matt Schaub is back…for now. Same with Andre Johnson. If both stay healthy, they shatter the 10-win mark. Confidence: 2

Indianapolis Colts (5.5) Under: The Colts are in great shape for the future after drafting Andrew Luck who, barring injury, looks like the real deal. However, that does not help this year. Maximum of four wins this season. And hey, Peyton Manning was 3-13 in his first season. Confidence: 4

Jacksonville Jaguars (5.5) Under: There is not a less talented team in the league, particularly at QB. I’m not a believer in Blaine Gabbert or Justin Blackmon (unless it’s a drinking contest). Confidence: 5

Kansas City Chiefs (8) Under: Not a believer in Matt Cassell, but he has a ton of help coming back from IR in Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki, which makes this pick incredibly difficult. Confidence: 1

Miami Dolphins (6.5) Under: Another team, another bad QB situation. What makes it even worse is that they have zero wide receivers to throw to. if TO signed for the Dolphins, he’d immediately be #1 on the depth chart. Confience: 4

Minnesota Vikings (6) Under: For all of you fantasy football nerds, Percy Harvin had 100 targets after Christian Ponder became the starting QB. The second-most in that time? Wes Welker…with 74. Unfortunately, the good news ends there. A bad defense in the same division as Detroit, Green Bay and the improved Chicago offenses spells disaster for the Vikings. Confidence: 5

New England Patriots (12) Over: The AFC East is a lot like the AFC West in that most of the teams are mediocre. However, New England is the one exception. The Patriots have improved their team (which was the favorite in the super bowl) by signing Brandon Lloyd on the offensive side of the ball and drafting all of those defensive players, including Chandler Jones. Confidence: 3

New Orleans Saints (10) Over: Ten is the perfect over/under, but I will give Drew Brees, Darren Sproles, and and Marques Colston the benefit of the doubt. Confidence: 2

New York Giants (9) Under: The world champs were an amazing story last year, but that was last year, and this is this year. This is one of the most brutal schedules in the NFL this year. Sorry Giants fans, I have them one off the pace from last season at 8-8. Confidence: 2

New York Jets (8.5) Under: The Jets do not have a decent WR, RB, TE, OL, pass rush, or special teams. But they have Tebow! How long until he starts? Confidence: 5

Oakland Raiders (8) Over: This hurts so much as a Chargers fan, but the Raiders somehow seem to get better every year, and now Carson Palmer has a full offseason with this offense, which should compliment it’s physical defense much better this year. Confidence: 3

Philadelphia Eagles (10) Under: If Mike Vick plays all 16 games, I will most likely be very wrong. But who honestly thinks he’s going to play all 16 games? Confidence: 3

Pittsburgh Steelers (10) Under: Big Ben loves to complain that he’s playing injured, Rashard Mendenhall is injured, and James Harrison keeps illegally injuring others. Confidence: 4

San Diego Chargers (9) Under: The Bolts will finally spiral the drain enough times to show how inept Norv Turner is as a head coach: Confidence: 4

San Francisco 49ers (10) Over: Six comfortable wins in division leads to an easy coasting to at least an 11-5 season for the team by the bay. Confidence: 5

Seattle Seahawks (7.5) Under: Rookie Quarterback, injured “star” running back, overrated wide receivers, and even more overrated head coach = disappointment for some of the best sports fans in this country. 5-12th man. Confidence: 5

St. Louis Rams (6) Over: Jeff Fisher is a really good coach. Sam Bradford has the skills to be a really good QB. Chris Long and Robert Quinn are really good pass rushers. They won’t be playoff contenders, but better than 6-10. Confidence: 3

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6) Over: How can you not love what they did in the draft (Mark Barron, Doug Martin, and LaVonte David) and free agency (Carl Nicks, Vincent Jackson, Eric Wright)? Josh Freeman will be comeback player of the year. Confidence: 3

Tennessee Titans (7) Over: The age of Jake Locker has begun in Tennessee with a decent supporting staff (Kenny Britt, Chris Johnson, Jaret Cook). Confience: 3

Washington Redskins (6.5) Under: Robert Griffin III is going to be a good QB, but like Cam Newton last year, it will not lead to a bunch of wins this season for a Redskins team that plays in a tough division and conference. Confidence: 4

EURO 2012 Quarterfinal #4 Prediction: American Style

Three wins without a loss in quarterfinals predictions so far, but today’s game is the toughest to predict because there is very little separating the two teams.  Both England and Italy, two traditional powerhouses, had low expectations entering the tournament.  Italy is entombed by its match fixing scandal that forced defender Domenico Criscito to pull out of the tournament days before likely being selected to the final team.  Meanwhile, England named Roy Hodgson its manager only weeks before the tournament was set to begin.  Why the late decision?  Because former coach Fabio Capello would not strip the then English captain John Terry of his captaincy in light of his alleged racial abuse.  By the way, John Terry was still selected to the team and still is featured in a prominent role much to the chagrin of some black players.  This is another reason why sports is the best reality TV.

Italy’s American Team Doppelganger: Syracuse University Men’s Basketball Team. Whether it’s child molestation, homophobia, or racism allegations surrounding these teams, they just seem to get better.  Somehow, these teams find a way to unite and find a way to win.  When Italy was faced with a similar scandal in 2006, they went on to win the World Cup.  Unity through adversity is the name of the game for the Azzurri.
England’s American Doppelganger: San Francisco 49ers.  Both team’s hired new coaches and the style of play has not been well received by everyone, especially in England’s case.  The beautiful game has become the pragmatic game for England, who coincidentally resemble the play of Italian squads in the past who are looking to win 1-0 and call it a day.  With that being said, England looks very well organized and has caused every team facing them problems with their stifling defense.  The offense is doing just enough to win them games, but now they are facing an opponent who will be just as prepared as them.  And just as talented.
Prediction: This will not be a high scoring game and the ball will primarily will reside in the midfield area.  The key to this game will be the attitude put forth by the team selections.  England, with Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have something that Italy does not: elite speed.  If one or more of those two start the game and if both see the pitch at the same time, it could really cause some problems for the Italians.  Stopping Wayne Rooney will also need to be a priority for the Italians, but his game plays right into the hands of the Italian style of clogging up the middle of the pitch, which would also open up more space for guys like Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain on the wings.  I, however, strongly believe that Ashley Young and James Milner will start on the outside and that England will have to play from behind because of it.  But, in what will be the most drama filled quarterfinal, the English will advance via the penalty shootout.  England 1 (Roooonneeyy), Italy 1 (Balotelli) (England wins PK 4-3)